In January, Beijing issued a white paper calling for accelerated expansion of China’s news media abroad and the deployment of a press corps of 100,000 around the world, particularly in priority regions like Africa. In the last few months alone, China established its first TV news hub in Kenya and a print publication in South Africa. The state-run Xinhua news agency already operates more than 20 bureaus in Africa. More than 200 African government press officers received Chinese training between 2004 and 2011 in order to produce what the Communist Party propaganda chief, Li Changchun, called “truthful” coverage of development fueled by China’s activities.
Sanef chairman Mondli Makhanya. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
THE South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has welcomed the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) decision not to press ahead with a media tribunal, as it now becomes clear that the party’s push for reform in the media will not see direct government involvement in accountability mechanisms.
Sanef chairman Mondli Makhanya said yesterday the forum had welcomed that the ANC was no longer “wedded” to the idea of statutory regulation, opting instead to endorse the Press Freedom Commission’s recommendations on press regulation outlined in a report released in April.
PEN is thrilled to hear this! We submitted a brief to the UN on this very issue in November.